IT to feel little impact from bank's code upgrade

Despite a year's grace to get IT systems and processes in order, Australian banks claim the new Code of Banking Practice will have little impact on IT.

The Australian Bankers' Association's (ABA) new Code of Banking Practice, announced today, will become operational in August 2003.

The organisation said in a statement this was because banks needed "adequate time to change documentation, computer systems, update procedures and ensure staff are properly trained to ensure compliance with the code".

A spokesperson said the ABA was "unsure" what IT systems or procedures would be affected or what changes the new code will require, adding it was best to speak with individual banks.

Allan Vernal, Suncorp's code of banking practice project manager, said for Suncorp, the new code will have "little impact" on its IT systems.

"Any changes required are more about policy and procedural matters. There may be some minor changes to the IT systems need to support these, but nothing significant.

"For example, while the code requires statements to produced within certain cycles, these cycles have been in place for retail banking customers since the original code was established in 1993. The difference now is that the same requirements apply to business banking customers. It's simply a matter of bringing business banking customers in line with retail customers."

The original Code of Banking Practice was introduced in 1993 to set standards of good practice to guide banks in their relationships with personal customers.

The new code will raise the bar of self-regulation by placing greater emphasis for banks to provide more information to customers about fees and charges.

Chair of the ABA, David Murray said the new code has "moved with the times" to take into account the "rapid technological changes that have revolutionised the banking sector".

IT executives at Macquarie Bank and Colonial First State were unable to comment on the IT implications of the code at their bank at time of print.

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